A top official within Turkey’s Ministry of National Education has posted a message on X telling Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “One day they will shoot you too” and “You will die.”
The inflammatory remarks by Nazif Yilmaz, a married father of three and deputy minister of the Turkish agency, was posted in response to a video Netanyahu shared on his account Tuesday appearing to show the Israeli military carrying out airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
The same day, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan raised concerns about the U.S. moving a carrier strike group closer to Israel following Hamas’ attacks on the country.
“What will the aircraft carrier of the U.S. do near Israel, why do they come? What will boats around and aircraft on it will do? They will hit Gaza and around, and take steps for serious massacres there,” Erdogan said, according to Reuters.
A U.S. military official had told Fox News over the weekend that the U.S. Navy is moving warships and aircraft closer to Israel as a result of the unprecedented assault.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told Fox News in a statement that he directed the movement of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea following detailed discussions with President Biden.
The warships include U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), as well as Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).
“In addition, the United States government will be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions,” Austin said. “The first security assistance will begin moving today and arriving in the coming days.”
Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday that the aircraft carrier strike group’s movements send “a very strong message of support for Israel.”
“But it’s also to send a strong message of deterrence to contain broadening this particular conflict,” he added, according to Reuters.